Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame

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Developing more energy-efficient transistors through quantum tunneling

March 27, 2012 • Categories: ND Energy

Midwest Institute for Nanoelectronics Discovery

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame and Pennsylvania State University have announced breakthroughs in the development of tunneling field-effect transistors (TFETs), a semiconductor technology that takes advantage of the quirky behavior of electrons at the quantum level.

Transistors are the building blocks of the electronic devices that power the digital world, and much of the growth in computing power over the past 40 years has been made possible by increases in the number of transistors that can be packed onto silicon chips.

But that growth, if left to current technology, may soon be coming to an end.

More than tree hugging: Green companies earn more 'green,' new study shows

March 27, 2012 • Categories: ND Energy


Using LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) buildings increases revenue generated by bank branches even when they offer the same products and services, according to a new study co-authored by University of Notre Dame management professors Edward Conlon and Ante Glavas.

In their study of 562 PNC branches (93 LEED, 469 non-LEED), “The Relationship between Corporate Sustainability and Firm Financial Performance,” Conlon and Glavas found that PNC employees who work in LEED-certified branches are more productive and engaged in their work.

Although they’re not yet certain if it’s because LEED buildings are more attractive to visit or because their employees are more satisfied, and consequently providing better service, Conlon and Glavas find that sustainability equals a big difference to the bottom line at LEED bank branches— $461,300 per employee after controlling for other variables that influence performance (e.g., consumer net worth, employee demographics, market demographics, size and age of branch, marketing spend).

New paper by Notre Dame researchers describes method for cleaning up nuclear waste

March 20, 2012 • Categories: ND Energy


While the costs associated with storing nuclear waste and the possibility of it leaching into the environment remain legitimate concerns, they may no longer be obstacles on the road to cleaner energy.

A new paper by researchers at the University of Notre Dame, led by Thomas E. Albrecht-Schmitt, professor of civil engineering and geological sciences and concurrent professor of chemistry and biochemistry, showcases Notre Dame Thorium Borate-1 (NDTB-1) as a crystalline compound that can be tailored to safely absorb radioactive ions from nuclear waste streams.

What's the big idea? Ten speakers to participate in ND Thinks Big

March 20, 2012 • Categories: ND Energy

ND Thinks Big

ND Thinks Big, a student-organized event modeled after TED talks and Harvard Thinks Big, will take place at 7 p.m. March 22 (Thursday) in the Jordan Auditorium of the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.

Sponsored by student forum The Hub and the Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement, the event features 10 speakers from the Notre Dame faculty and administration, who will each deliver a 10-minute talk about their research and current work within their respective fields.

Land Institute president to deliver sustainability lecture at Notre Dame

March 16, 2012 • Categories: ND Energy

Wes Jackson

Wes Jackson, president of the Land Institute, will be the inaugural Lecturer in Sustainability at 7 p.m. on March 28 (Wednesday) in Room 101 of the Jordan Hall of Science at the University of Notre Dame.

His lecture, titled “Why Agriculture Must Take the Lead Toward a Sustainable Future,” is free and open to the public.

New paper examines issues raised by Fukushima reactor accident

March 08, 2012 • Categories: ND Energy

Fukushima Daiichi

As the one-year anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi reactor accident is marked on March 11, a new paper by Peter C. Burns, Henry Massman Professor of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame, and colleagues from the University of Michigan and the University of California, Davis, stresses that we need much more knowledge about how nuclear fuel interacts with the environment during and after an accident.

In the paper, which appears in the March 9 edition of the journal Science, Burns, Rodney C. Ewing of the University of Michigan and Alexandra Navrotsky of the University of California, Davis, call for increased research to help develop predictive models for future nuclear accidents.

Dorm energy competition: May the best quad win

March 08, 2012 • Categories: ND Energy

Quad Energy Competition

At this time of year, you might expect Notre Dame students to be focusing on midterms or planning for spring break. But instead, students across campus are getting ready for a new kind of dorm energy competition.

New state-of-the-art meters and a new online dashboard will now enable students to see how much energy their dorm is using and how they rank in the competition at any time. Read More